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Bemidji football: Larson, Rutledge, Woods, Bofferding and Hendricks earn All-State honors

Brandon Larson, Cody Rutledge and Carey Woods of the Bemidji High School football team were named to the Associated Press All State second team Tuesday and teammates James Bofferding and Mitchell Hendricks were selected to the honorable mention squad.

Larson was a senior linebacker on a team which finished 12-1 and lost only to Rocori in the Prep Bowl. He also saw time in the backfield against Rocori.

"Brandon is a guy a coach wants on his football team," said BHS coach Troy Hendricks. "He is a ferocious competitor and a big-time hitter with fantastic technique and a knack for getting to the ball carrier."

Rutledge was a two-way player all year, patrolling the field as a safety and contributing to the offense from his wide receiver position.

"Cody is an intimidating safety who would just as soon hit you as go for the interception," the coach said. "And Cody led us in both categories. He is an extremely versatile athlete."

Woods also played on both sides of the ball as a wide receiver and a defensive back. He was chosen to the All State team for his offensive prowess.

"Carey had an outstanding offensive season," Hendricks said. "He is an explosive receiver with exceptional hands and his offensive numbers were off the chart. At one point this year he scored a touchdown one out of every three times he touched the ball."

Mitchell Hendricks had a terrific season as the Lumberjacks quarterback and he spearheaded an offense that took a back seat to no one.

"Mitchell orchestrated our offense for three straight years," the coach said. "He can make plays with his hands and his feet and that is what you look for in a quarterback."

Bofferding took no mercy on opposing offenses and he had the ability to control the action from his linebacker position.

"James is a great leader on and off the field," Hendricks said. "He only played three years of football but he is a natural linebacker. Between James and Brandon we had as good a linebacking corps as I have ever seen in Bemidji."

Quarterback Phillip Nelson of Mankato West was chosen the AP's Player of the Year. He led a first team offense which also included Mankato West wide receiver Hunter Friesen.

Bemidji defeated Nelson, Friesen and Mankato West 45-26 in the state semifinals.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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